Those who wish President Trump no luck as the world’s champion peacemaker are beginning to feign disgust at “a leader of the free world willing to sit down with a dictatorial murderer like Kim Jong-un.”
It’s not just that Kim murdered his own uncle, whom he feared was plotting a power grab. It’s that he had his uncle bundled naked into a cage where he was devoured by hungry dogs. It’s not just that Kim assassinated his half-brother. It’s that he had the hit staged in the airport of another country. What kind of leader – goes the anti-Trump rant – consorts and negotiates with such monsters? The Trump-haters are doing us a bit of a favor by ventilating a dark and dusty corner of history and diplomacy that’s nowhere near sufficiently talked about.
This time the anti-Trump crowd isn’t lying about a single fact. They just happen to be morally bankrupt, facts and all!
Let’s start with Korea itself, South Korea. Those on the left who felt we had some nerve interfering with the North Korean Communist invasion of South Korea in June of 1950 were absolutely correct in pointing out that South Korea’s leader, Syngman Rhee, was a dictator. He wasn’t a partner with Stalin of Russia and Mao of China in their grand plans to communize the world. He was just another dreary Asian dictator.
And that’s bad enough. The only commentator I know of who had perfect pitch on our military support of Rhee’s South Korea was Leo Cherne, head of the highly praiseworthy International Rescue Committee, who admitted, “We’re not fighting for democracy in South Korea. We’re fighting for the opportunity to achieve eventual democracy in South Korea, an opportunity lost forever if the Communist invaders from the north are successful.”
In 1948, when the Cold War was gearing up for real, the Communist world was shaken up by a rift – almost a war – between Communism’s global boss, Stalin, and Communism’s most effective fighter against the Nazis, Marshal Tito of Yugoslavia. President Truman was quick to offer economic and even military aid to Yugoslavia if needed. Truman’s detractors and disagreeing admirers turned on Truman, urging, “Let Tito rot. He’s a son-of-a-bitch. “I know,” replied Truman. “Tito is a son-of-a-bitch. But he’s our son-of-a-bitch!”
And there’s a strong historical case to be made that “our” son-of-a-bitch Tito gets credit for crippling Communism’s inexorable advance, by demonstrating that a single state can be an “independent” Communist state, allied with America and having nothing to do with “global solidarity.” Yugoslavia today is six independent democracies.
How many of our new allies across the Arab world are democracies? And how many West African régimes are anything but classic “strongman” satrapies? And who really cares? Perhaps a few who happen to be bent like me, but never enough to change policies and régimes and give dictators the heave-ho they deserve.
We can skip over all the Titos and Mugabes and get to the most combustible and conclusive argument for self-lobotomizing that portion of your brain that makes you angry at bad people. Namely, World War II. Our American leaders invoked every possible method of persuasion to convince the American people that a murderous ice-hearted murderer like Josef Stalin was really every good American’s “Uncle Joe”.
It would have been catastrophic if Americans back then had regarded the Soviet Union the way they would have without the U. S. government’s propaganda job. Give me more Americans honest enough to teach their young that the hated, murderous, dictatorial Soviet Communists were really the ones who beat Adolf Hitler. Any study of the casualties, the privation and the sacrifices of the Soviets make that claim non-controversial. And there wasn’t a millisquidgen of moral difference between the Nazis and the Communists. The Nazis murdered six million Jews. The Soviets starved six million Ukrainians. And that’s just the beginning of the tragic scorekeeping, not the end.
Winston Churchill made it all come clear with his famous comment, “If Hitler invaded Hell, I’d sign a pact with the Devil!”